With the humanoid robot Pepper and the interaction with the interconnected appliances in the smart home, we got the participating female pupils interested today in the fascinating opportunities of programming at the Federal Chancellery for this year’s Girls’Day launch event. The event traditionally marks the start of the nationwide Girls'Day, the largest careers advice project for girls worldwide. The objective of the day is to motivate girls to decide to train or study in areas of the STEM field. The event was opened this year by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Together with the seven other member companies of Initiative D21, Germany’s largest non-profit network for digital society, we are able to appear at the Girls’Day kick-off event with our own stand on the technology course at the Federal Chancellery. Under the motto “IT Girl - be a digital future shaper”, the female pupils taking part had the opportunity to experience the wonders of IT first-hand.
The 13-15 year-old pupils could, for example, programme humanoid robot Pepper themselves, give it particular skills and have it interact, for example, with a kettle. Yet the fun wasn’t over. For example, the pupils had the chance to program the robot, only 1.2 m in height, so that it would recognize a photo of their respective favourite musician and play their top hit on the networked music system.
At Girls’Day, young women have the chance to get to know about technical jobs from a practical angle and expand their horizons regarding career choices. With continuous digitalisation, there are countless exciting jobs.
Equally, within the smart home sector, female talent is more in demand than ever. As Eva Breuer, Head of Corporate Communications at digitalSTROM AG puts it: “We urgently need female talent in digital roles. With our renewed participation in Girls’Day, we want to to get female pupils interested in the diverse technical professions related to networked living and motivate them to actively participate in shaping digital change. Digitalisation is going to open up a wide array of interesting careers. The professional opportunities here are ones we as women don’t want to miss out on.”
Yet for this, a real framework and major progress concerning “digital education” are required, as Lena-Sophie Müller, General Director of Initiative D21, explained on the Girls’Day launch event at the Federal Chancellery:
“The digital gap between the sexes has not closed as hoped automatically with the younger, more technophile generations. Especially in such dynamic times with ever shorter innovation cycles, we should make every effort not to let the digital future simply occur, but to shape it. Therefore we need intelligent people and we cannot pass up women’s potential. For this, we need the right framework in Germany and this requires important steps in digital education matters and a lot more shedding of traditional role models.”
In her speech at the Girls’Day 2017 launch event at the Federal Chancellery in Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel pointed out the need to promote a "culture of curiosity" and called upon girls to seize opportunities in the field of digitalisation:
“We are trying in many ways to promote a culture of curiosity - in addition to Girls' Day, for example, we have the competition “Jugend forscht” (Youth researches). We offered many insights. The Federal Employment Office also provided insights. Of course, digitalisation is also changing the world. You know as well as we do that the smartphone is indispensable on a day to day basis. Yet one should also understand that what is behind digitalisation and all the changes that come with it. This is thus my advice: Use every opportunity, not just today’s Girls’ Day.
In what has become a tradition, we’re taking part in Girls’Day at our German companyt site in Wetzlar. Here, female pupils throughout the region have the chance to learn more about the technology behind our award-winning smart home system and to become digital future shapers themselves.
We are always happy to receive interesting unsolicited applications from future shapers – whether from female or male applicants. Simply send an e-mail with application documents to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Recent column from Bilanz magazine by Martin Vesper, CEO of digitalSTROM AG, on the topic of “Why digitalisation needs to be more female”:
Discussion with German Chancellor Merkel at the Girls’ Day 2017 launch event on 26th April 2017 in Berlin: